A GREAT start to Sandhurst’s season rolled on in Saturday’s clash with Golden Square in round three of the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy action.
There was more than premiership points at stake as the Dragons and Bulldogs fought to get their hands on the Ron Best Memorial Shield.
The match honoured Bendigo FNL goalkicking great and Hall of Fame member Ron Best who passed away last October.
Best had a major impact on Sandhurst and Golden Square during his playing days.
On Saturday it was the Dragons who were fired up from the first ball-up.
Sandhurst led 31-10 at quarter-time and 57-29 at half-time.
An evenly fought third term was won by Sandhurst by just two points.
The Bulldogs faced a five-goal deficit at the start of the final quarter.
Victorious in a dramatic clash at home against Gisborne the previous round, Golden Square finished this game with plenty of run.
The Bulldogs scored 6.4 in the final term, but two goals was enough for Sandhurst to hold on for a 93-91 victory.
The classy Joel Wharton kicked three goals for the Dragons, a feat matched by Cobi Maxted and Oscar McKinley.
Golden Square’s attack was led by Joel Brett, four goals, and Jake Thrum on three.
Best for the Dragons were Lee Coghlan, James Coghlan, Lachlan Ross, Chris Down, Noah Walsh and Isaac Ruff.
Bulldogs’ captain Jack Geary was best and had great support from ruckman Matt Compston, Ryan Hartley, Liam Barrett, Zack Shelton and Brodie James.
South Bendigo’s fighting spirit was to the fore at Kyneton Showgrounds.
Chasing a hat-trick of wins, South Bendigo led 60-41 at half-time, but the Tigers slammed on 5.2 to 1.3 to gain a four-point lead by the last change.
The Nathan Horbury-coached South Bendigo lifted its pressure and workrate.
The Bloods scored 3.3 to 1.1 in the final term to clinch a 90-80 victory.
Will Keck and Michael Herlihy led South’s attack on three goals.
Kyneton’s leading goalkickers were Guy Dickson and Bailey McGee on three.
Best for the Bloods were Cooper Leon, Herlihy, Keck and Brody Haddow.
Evan Davie, Jordan Mangan, Hamish Govan and Sam Foreman played well for the Paul Chapman-coached Tigers.
A 10-goal haul by Darcy Richards was the talking point of Eaglehawk’s win against Castlemaine at S & R Park in Canterbury Park.
Back in the Borough after premiership success at North Bendigo, Richards dominated the Magpies’ defence.
The Hawks had 59 scoring shots in a 36.23 (239) to 1.5 (11) victory.
A list of 13 goalkickers included Gedd Hommelhoff, four; Jack Dye, Sam Harper and Noah Wheeler on three.
Castlemaine’s only goal was off the boot of Liam Wilkinson.
Best for the Hawks were Richards, Billy Evans, Wheeler, Koby Hommelhoff, Harper and Riley Saunders.
Castlemaine’s best were John Watson, Riley Pedretti, Wilkinson, Angus Mayes, Brodie Byrne and David Stephens.
Gisborne passed the 150 point mark in its clash with Kangaroo Flat at Gardiner Reserve.
The Bulldogs dominated through midfield and inside the forward 50m arc.
Kangaroo Flat started well to be within 13 points at quarter-time, but Gisborne quickly took control.
A powerful attack which included Pat McKenna, five goals; Josh Kemp, four; Brad Bernack, three; and former Kyneton star Ethan Foreman, three, overwhelmed a young Roos defence.
Gisborne scored nine goals in the second term, five in the third and six in the last to complete a 23.14 (152) to 4.5 (29) victory.
Best for the Bulldogs were Scott Walsh, Liam Spear, McKenna, Bernacki, Jack Reaper and Kemp.
On a tough afternoon for the young Flat line-up it was Tom Gillespie, Jake Hywood and Mitch Trewhella who led the way.
Ryan O’Keefe, Kyle Symons and Nathan McHugh were among the best for the Roos.
Strathfieldsaye Storm marked its first win of the season and moved from eighth to sixth on the ladder.
After narrow losses to Sandhurst and Gisborne, Storm surged to a 16-goal win against Maryborough at Triple M Park in Tannery Lane.
Cooper Jones kicked seven goals and Lachlan Sharp added five majors.
Storm led 100-30 at a quarter to go and then slammed on 9.3 to 5.1 in the last to complete a 157-61 victory.
The in-form Jayden Templeton led Maryborough’s attack on three goals.
Storm’s best were James Schischka, Hunter Lawrence, Patrick Blandford, Jones, Baxter Slater and Jack Neylon.
Harrison Monk, Bailey Edwards, Thomas Gardam, Kyle Andrews, Jayden Hooper and Liam Murphy were best for Maryborough.
Bendigo FNL senior footy ladder:
Sandhurst 162 per cent, 12 points; South Bendigo 156, 12; Eaglehawk 341, 13; Golden Square 156, 8; Gisborne 155, 8; Strathfieldsaye 135, 4; Kyneton 83, 4; Maryborough 73, 4; Kangaroo Flat 25, 0; Castlemaine 15, 0.
The race for the Ron Best Medal for leading goalkicker is still being led by Golden Square’s Jake Thrum on 14.
In hot pursuit are Eaglehawk’s Darcy Richards, 14; and Strathfieldsaye’s Lachlan Sharp, 13.
Next best are Maryborough’s Jayden Templeton and Strathfieldsaye’s Cooper Jones on 11, and Eagleahwk’s Lewin Davis on nine.
Match of round four on Saturday will be South Bendigo against Gisborne at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Castlemaine takes on Kyneton at Camp Reserve.
Maryborough clashes with Eaglehawk at Barkers Oval in Princes Park.
Golden Square tackles Strathfieldsaye at Fur Life Vet Oval in Wade Street.
Kangaroo Flat and Sandhurst meet at Bendigo Mazda Oval in Dower Park.
Written by Nathan Dole